El Colibrí Mágico
(The Magic Hummingbird)
A California Story

Video taken from the Staged Premiere: June 2 & 3, 2023,
Opera Tijuana, CEART, Tijuana, Mexico


From the opera “El Colibrí Mágico (The Magic Hummingbird) — A California Story”, this aria features Karen Garcia in the role of ghost curandera Maria Sabia, who comforts Ixazaluoh (Shantel Cervantes), sleeping into oblivion under the spell of the southwest desert and the curse of the magic tunnel.

Mater Nostra

Finale to the opera “El Colíbri Mágico (The Magic Hummingbird) — A California Story”.
Featuring Karen Garcia and Daniel Castro


Based on the sacred poetry of Maria Sabina, from the opera
“El Colibrí Mágico (The Magic Hummingbird) —A California Story”.
This visual interpretation conceived by Mexican-American opera singer Karen Garcia,
based on her experiences of Mexican curandera ceremonies and the ancient traditions
interwoven into contemporary Mexican experience.

The lyrics are based on the sacred psilocybin mushroom chants of Maria Sabina,
a great healer and true saint,
who lived in abject poverty in the mountains of Oaxaca.

While we were shooting a young rat emerged from the bushes and stood there smiling with us.
It felt as if the tree and flowers were listening in the moonlight and fog.

Children of the Gods

World Premiere – The Cutting Room

The June 18th, 2022 performance at The Cutting Room in NYC
was a world premiere in the form of an old-fashioned radio drama,

with live sound effects, voice actors,

singers, musicians and narration.


Cast for the Magic Hummingbird LIVE production On June 18, 2022. 

Lauren Haughton-Gillis, Director
Richard Dueñez Morrison, Music Director, Conductor
Barb Macz, stage manager
David Smith – sound effects, live foley

Rudy Alexander Giron, counter tenor,      “Francisco”
Karen Garcia, soprano, “Apolonia”, “Ixazaluoh,”
and Francisco’s mother, Spanish translation
Cat Rojo, alto, “Clara”
Leonard Patton, tenor, “Franklin”
Gustavo Alcoser, tenor, “Elias”, co-writer
Scene one, composer of mariachi music
Scene two.
Charles Coleman, baritone, “The Preacher
Philip Gomez, countertenor, plant spirit, refugee
Geoffrey Burleson, piano and accordion

Daniel Castro, guitar and mandolin, additional Spanish translation
and additional audio editing and recording.

Michael Jones, electric guitar
Andrew Michel, bass
Daniel Pate, percussion and drums
Todd Rewoldt, saxophone
Antotina Styczen, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, nose flute

Joseph Waters, narrator, composer, librettist, lyricist, sound design.

Book by Joseph Martin Waters, Gustavo Alcoser and Michael Gillis

Story by Joseph Martin Waters